Well, what can you say? Even though Justin Trudeau got run over by his former Attorney General, he still had a better week than Ottawa Senator’s fans.
Owner Eugene Melnyk’s path of destruction hit the capital five times in a seven day span. He has traded away their three best players, lost the Lebreton Flats deal and now General Manager Pierre Dorion fired his Coach. Dorion keeps telling the Ottawa hockey fans they have a plan. Well, at some point they need to communicate that plan instead taking advantage of the blind trust of the Ottawa hockey faithful.
The issue is not with the players. They are doing quite well considering what is going on off the ice. The problem is with the team’s leadership. The on ice performance is merely an extension for the gap in leadership. I am really not sure what kind of leader Pierre Dorion is, but the coming months will determine that. Guy Boucher was his hire, so Dorion is responsible for the situation. From the outside looking in, it appeared that Boucher and Dorion grew a part in their idea of leadership. Going back and looking at Boucher’s Coaching history he spent one year in the AHL, was hired by Tampa and spent two and half years before being let go. He then went to the Swiss league and spent two years and left. The Ottawa Senators hired him and he spent two and a half years and was released. Each stop featured a good first year followed by a mediocre second and a poor third year in which he was let go. So we can say with some level of certainty that there is a pattern. Looks like someone missed the red flags!
There is a huge gap in leadership in this organization. Year after year they keep shooting themselves in the foot as they make mistakes on and off the ice. Case in point. Why would an organization in a press release tell the hockey world what they are looking for in their next head Coach, when you have just released your Coach? I found that to be in poor taste and lacked compassion for an employee and his family who gave you two and a half years of his life to you. Poor leadership surfaces again in this organization. How can you lead others, when you cannot lead yourself? I do not expect much to change on the ice until the Senators stabilize themselves off the ice. When the Senators had a good on ice product they had great off ice leaders like Roy Malakar and Cyril Leeder. These were savvy professionals who lead the organization and were great insulators between ownership and hockey operations.
The Ottawa Senators next important move is not the Head Coach, but who they hire as Team President. This position must be filled now! This person must have great leadership skills to guide this organization during a very important time as they look for a downtown site, rebuild a stripped down team, rebuild fan trust, and rebuild creditability in the National Hockey League.
Not much to ask, but hiring this person does not seem to be high on the list things to do for this organization.
It’s not their fault, they just cannot help themselves.